Jeff Van Gundy Sums Up Game 7: “This Is One Of The Most Poorly Played Games You’ll Ever See”

The level of drama in the Celtics-Lakers Game 7 paled in comparison to the Diamondbacks-Red Sox game just an hour earlier. There hasn't been a game yet in this series where the quality of play from both teams was high, and even though tonight's going to end up close, it's not like it's exciting merely because it's for a title. The level of strategy and intrigue in a baseball game (a sac bunt in the 5th by McDonald? brilliant!) does build genuine drama. That's not being built here. This has been a sloppy game in a relatively sloppy series.

Does the NBA need to reduce the playoffs in length to increase the intensity? Maybe go back to 5 game rounds in the first round.

It's only two months to NFL training camp, plus a summer of baseball. And the UFL is in Hartford now, so there's that. Just hold out a little longer.

Is It Right to Write What People Want To Read?

Paul Carr’s Techcrunch article on New York Internet Week extends the already-resolved content war into another battle, this time framed as the East Coast’s version of quality content against the West Coast’s “generic filler to pack inside an empty box to make it attractive to advertisers.” This is a war that’s been resolved in favor of content producers, and those who produce lots of content generally end up with lots of “success” (money, uniques, etc), and it’s a fairly straightforward correlation.

I love the Internet’s objective sense of success, by whatever metric one chooses (uniques, page views, money). I believe it’s right to write what people want to read, and the readers will determine if it’s successful or not.

Carr’s concludes his story encapsulates the nature of tech industry blogs (and magazines like Inc. and Entrepreneur) – look for the new superstars, not the underlying trends: Snippet:

Before Harry Potter, no-one knew they were looking for books about wizards; before the Washington Post broke their most famous story, no-one knew they were searching for information about a robbery at the Watergate building, or the subsequent money trail to the White House. Put simply: if Ben Bradlee were an editor at one of today’s Internet companies, instead of the Washington Post in the 1970s, he’d almost certainly have spiked the first Watergate exclusive in favour of a slideshow of cats who look like Nixon.

Actually, if the WaPo was a newsblog in the 1970s, Ben Bradlee would have had enough space and time to publish both the Watergate exclusives and the slideshow of kittens, and would have willingly publish both to reach two sets of audiences.  

Furthermore, the focus on the “superstar” — the hot tech startup, leading to the ultimate IPO — is the standard fantasy of Tech blogs, almost to the point of ignoring the trends. Associated Content, regardless of its low final valuation, did make a ton of money by simply following trends. Business Insider does that today. Demand Media does the same, in large quantities. Yardbarker and Bleacher Report follow the quantity approach in the sports industry. As long as the quality is sufficient enough to fill my need for information (and it usually is), then let them go on grabbing that low-hanging fruit, in large numbers. Sometimes, I want a substantive article. Sometimes, I want a slideshow. One site should be able to provide me with both.

The BCS Conference Realignment Battle is Remarkably Similar to the Plot of “Jericho”

In the CBS television show Jericho, a West Coast faction and an East Coast faction vie to align with Texas following a massive nuclear attack on the United States. Texas is the lynchpin which will decide the outcome of the new-age civil war. This differs substantially from Red Dawn, in which Texas fell quickly to the Soviet-Cuban forces storming in from the Gulf of Mexico.

Perhaps the differentiating factor between Red Dawn and Jericho is the Southwest Conference. In the Red Dawn 1980s, the SWC was hit by recruiting scandals and poor performance in football. Now, in the Jericho era, Texas makes national title games, TCU wins a BCS game, and even SMU makes it to a bowl. This is proof, once again, that all a writer needs to do to be successful in Hollywood is to copy a storyline from sports, then replace the word "touchdown" with "strategic nuclear strike."

On Getting a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Twist with Frosting

Frosting is not healthy. It has zero redeeming value. Frosting has led to wars, oppression, and the end of democracy. Regardless, yesterday, while at Dunkin' Donuts, I received a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Twist with frosting. I did not request a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Twist with frosting. I requested a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Twist without frosting. At that point, I had already received the Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Twist with frosting, delivered in a brown paper bag (to better hide my shame). 

So I ate the Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Twist with frosting.

I don't even remember what flavor this "frosting" was (vanilla? some obscure whitish glue?), but it was delicious and easy to consume. The Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Twist was delicious on its own, but the frosting elevated it to a new level.

And did you know that the Cinnamon Raisin Bagel Twist contains 20 percent of your daily fiber needs? This alone justifies the frosting.

Are New England Coffee and Green Mountain Coffee Mortal Enemies?

I had to go to Chicago to learn about New England Coffee, but now that I'm here, I'm intrigued at the possibilities. My daily coffee of choice is Green Mountain Coffee, as it fills the key components I need — quick, caffeinated, and thanks to my company, free. 

[I think free coffee is the smartest employee perk in the world, by the way. It's like giving everyone productivity juice. Does anyone work at a company without this benefit?]

Yet today, following the Chicago edition of Blogs With Balls, I sit down to watch the White Sox-Cleveland game and see an in-game promo for New England Coffee. [By strict definition, coffee shouldn't have a place name outside of the Coffee Belt, but anyway.] I have never heard of New England Coffee, but by definition, they've claimed more territory than Green Mountain Coffee (just Vermont), so they're at least proclaiming that they're better.

So I thought about doing the entrepreneurial thing and proclaiming more territory, so I headed to GoDaddy to see what I could get. It turns out that others, speedier and more nefarious than I, have already proclaimed all available coffee lands. NortheastCoffee.com is gone. EasternCoffee.com, gone. AmericanCoffee.com, taken. EarthCoffee.com, gone and green. Even UniversalCoffee.com is unavailable. I did see GodCoffee.com, but that brings up a whole list of ecclesiastical/trademark issues, so everything within the available realm is gone.

Maybe it's time to start smaller, more grassroots. I can't do BostonCoffee.com or CambridgeCoffee.com, though, as they're both taken. Perhaps BladeOfGrassCoffee.com? TinyChunkOfDislodgedBrickCoffee.com? Smart small and build big; that's the way to do it.

Also, Blogs With Balls was enjoyable and educational, and I hope to one day "crush it" myself, etc.  The advertising landscape panel was good.